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Climate change report issues dire new warning

A stark new report from the global scientific authority on climate change calls on individuals, as well as governments, to take action to avoid disastrous levels of global warming. CNN's Nick Watt reports.

Posted: Oct 9, 2018 11:09 AM
Updated: Oct 9, 2018 11:31 AM

A stark new report from the global scientific authority on climate change calls on individuals, as well as governments, to take action to avoid disastrous levels of global warming.

The report, which maps out four pathways to cap Earth's average surface temperature at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels indicates that changes in individual behavior can make a difference.

But to do that, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says, would require "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society."

The IPCC's models emphasize the need for people to change their lifestyle and consumption patterns to more sustainable alternatives, specifically in areas they can control, like modes of transportation, the buildings they inhabit and their dietary preferences.

"It's a really new way for the IPCC to report on mitigation pathways, the carbon budgets are so tight for 1.5C that we need drastic action on the policy scale, the business and industry scale, but also on the part of consumers," World Wildlife Fund's lead climate scientist, Chris Weber, told CNN.

Asked whether consumers can help meet this goal, Weber responded: "Unequivocally, yes."

Here's what consumers can do

Transportation: In order to meet the 1.5C goal, the IPCC envisages a future where people travel less, and that generally consumer preferences shift to more sustainable choices like car sharing and hybrid and electric cars. The report also looks at using more efficient modes of travel, e.g. swapping cars, trucks and planes to buses and trains.

Buildings: While this section is less prescriptive, the IPCC suggests that people shift to more sustainable behavior when it comes to their homes, for example using smart thermostats or more efficient air conditioners.

Diets: Again, the models aren't comprehensive, but in general, the IPCC's narrative suggests that people consume about 30% less animal products. Eating less meat is one of a number of mitigation strategies suggested by the IPCC to overhaul agricultural and land-use practices, including the protection of forests. The livestock sector is estimated to account for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions globally, more than direct emissions from the transport sector.

These so-called shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs), which focus on mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, are a fairly new innovation and draw a new dimension to climate modeling: the impact of changes in human behavior.

"It's very clear just by looking at the archetypical pathways that they've [IPCC] pulled out ... that the consumer dimensions allow emissions to be cut much faster," Weber said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 3086
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Marion16194731
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 104248

Reported Deaths: 3734
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18965531
Cuyahoga13869512
Hamilton9844259
Lucas5512326
Montgomery448998
Summit3667224
Butler303364
Marion294245
Mahoning2623256
Pickaway240042
Stark1904142
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Trumbull1563110
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Lake114642
Wood109058
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Medina95936
Miami86839
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Allen79446
Portage77664
Greene73012
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Ashtabula57746
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Ross5094
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Huron4115
Ottawa40426
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Lawrence3180
Auglaize2756
Union2731
Scioto2591
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Seneca2344
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Knox2147
Preble2122
Putnam21217
Washington21122
Coshocton1967
Champaign1882
Morrow1792
Crawford1775
Hardin17512
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Highland1692
Logan1672
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Harrison261
Noble170
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